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What is Hospice Care?

February 16, 2016
Hospice

maryland aging in place

At some point in our lives, almost all of us come to know of hospice care one way or another. Maybe we have a relative who received hospice care, or maybe we saw it mentioned in a brochure in a doctor’s office. But until we actually need hospice care for ourselves or for our loved one, it remains a mystery. What does it involve? Where can I get it? Who will qualify? Our Maryland senior care providers are happy to answer these and other questions.

Hospice is Not a Place

The first thing you need to know about hospice is that it’s not a place you visit. Hospice is more of a medical philosophy—an approach to medical care. Hospice is a type of care designed to help patients with terminal illnesses maintain high quality of life until their last days.

Hospice Focuses on Pain Management

The goal of hospice is not to get you better, but to make your last days as pleasant and comfortable as possible. If you are in pain from terminal cancer, heart disease or another illness, hospice care will help you manage this pain and other unwanted symptoms. Hospice is frequently recommended to patients who stop responding to treatments.

Hospice is More Than Medical Care

While hospice care mostly has to do with symptom relief and pain management, it can be much broader than that. Besides your primary care physician and a hospice physician, there can be other parties involved in a typical hospice program, including clergy, occupational therapists, social workers, etc. Your hospice care plan is tailored to your needs, whether they are physical, emotional, spiritual or social. Hospice programs often work with family members too, helping them prepare for the loss of their loved one.

Hospice Can Help You Regain Control

Hearing about your terminal diagnosis can be very difficult. Many patients feel like they have lost control over their lives, and now all they can do is wait for the inevitable to happen. Hospice care can help you regain this sense of control over your life and help you make the most of every day you have left. It’s hard to think straight when you are in pain, dizzy or otherwise uncomfortable. By focusing on symptom and pain relief, hospice care make a big difference in how you feel and what you are able to do with the time you have left.

You Don’t Have to Move to Receive Hospice Care

Since hospice is not a place, you don’t have to move to a hospital, nursing home or another specialized facility to receive hospice care. In fact, hospice care can be provided in your own home or in an assisted living facility like our Maryland residential care homes at Kenwood Care. Our patients can enroll in hospice care when they are ready, and we help them and their families make this transition as simple and easy as possible.

Who Qualifies for Hospice Care

Generally, hospice care can be provided to people with life expectancy of 12 months or less. But if you don’t have insurance that covers hospice care, you may end up having to pay for it out of pocket. If the life expectancy is 6 months or less, you may be able to qualify for Medicare coverage, which will help minimize your expenses.

If you are looking for a senior care facility for your loved one that can also provide care through hospice, give Kenwood Care a call. We’ll be happy to talk to you or show you around our facilities to help you find the best care for your loved one.

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